In February, Allstate Canada employees were invited to nominate their fellow colleagues for the 2023 Community Hero Award (CHA), which recognizes individuals who commit their time and energy to support their communities.
These Community Heroes help to strengthen the social fabric of the communities we serve and, through their leadership, inspire others to create social impact through volunteerism and other forms of community service.
The national Community Hero Award winner will receive $3,000 to donate to the charity of their choice, while the Community Hero Award recipients will each receive $1,000 to donate to a charity of their choice.
Below, you will see why these individuals were nominated. So, join us as we congratulate our 2023 CHA recipients!
National Community Hero Award Winner
Melissa has been, and continues to be, extremely involved in her community by contributing to numerous organizations and causes. Whether it is planning and executing charitable events for the International Symphony Orchestra, sitting on multiple committees for the Chamber of Commerce, volunteering as a driver for an initiative to collect canned goods for local food banks, participating in an “Amazing Race” style event to raise funds for local charities or many other contributions, Melissa is committed to positively impacting her community. Melissa was also recently appointed to the board of her local Mothers Against Drunk Drivers (MADD) chapter and is excited to support an organization that is doing work that is close to her heart.
Community Hero Award Recipients
Alexis’ passion for supporting her community continues to drive her volunteerism. Alexis is the founding member of the Wallet to Wealth (W2W) group, a network that provides women with a safe space for them to seek answers to a variety of topics, including finances, health, and wellness, and raises funds for Halton Women’s Place. Alexis assists in organizing events for Halton Women’s Place by recruiting members of W2W to participate in community events. Additionally, Alexis is the leader of a group called #bossbabesBURL and collected clothing, gift-filled shoeboxes, and food for the Burlington food drive during their annual holiday party.
Ryan is involved with a variety of organizations and causes in his community. Ryan fundraises for the Children’s Safety Village to help them expand their programming focused on educating youth about stranger danger, traffic safety and internet security/safety. Ryan is also a consistent volunteer with the food bank system in his community and fundraises for their cause during the holiday season. Ryan also supports his church by overseeing all the business, repairs and financial decisions regarding property and construction projects. Ryan is also passionate about supporting inclusivity in his community and volunteers with and supports his communities LGBTQ+ organization, the Bay of Quite Pride.
Allen has been volunteering with Thunder Bay Minor Hockey for over 35 years. As a coach, Allen works with children, teaching them the importance of teamwork, cooperation, respect, and setting goals to succeed. Allen has also been involved in numerous boards and committees, working with other organizations to develop new programs, such as scholarship and equipment programs. Allen also gets his teams involved in volunteering to teach them the importance of giving back to their community and has held several food drives for the Thunder Bay Food Banks. He has also volunteered with the Thunder Bay Shelter House, fundraised for cancer research, and participated in the Salvation Army Christmas Kettle.
Amanda is a champion of Indigenous awareness and rights in her community. In addition to volunteering with Bonnyville Friendship Centre for their Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls and Two-Spirt People (MMIWG2S) event every year, she is the creator and organizer of St. Albert’s July 1st Run for Reconciliation, where hundreds of people walk/run to honor and remember the children and families of Residential Schools. All proceeds raised during this event go towards the Indian Residential Schools Survivors Association. Amanda also creates a Red Dress display every year in a public park in St. Albert to further raise awareness of MMIWG2S. Amanda also supports other charitable events/initiatives throughout the year, such as delivering food hampers during the holiday season and participating in the Coldest Night of the Year Walk. This past year, Amanda was nominated for and awarded the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Award for her contributions to the community.
Jessica works hard to support her community with her Dartmouth Crossing Agency. Throughout the past year, she and her agency team have organized numerous events and opportunities to support local causes, including hosting Santa photos at their agency and wrapping gifts at the mall in support on Feed Nova Scotia, and serving coffee and tea at Northwood care organization and hosting an agency paint night in support of Alzheimer’s Society. The team was awarded one of the inaugural Agency Team Good Hands Grants from The Allstate Foundation of Canada, which they donated to the Alzheimer’s Society. Additionally, Jessica and her team participated in Allstate Canada Group’s Nova Scotia Habitat for Humanity Build Day, helping build a home for a family in need. Jessica also champions her team to participate in various walks for charities, and volunteers consistently with organizations to support families in their community.
Charbel Bou Raad
Charbel continues to be extremely involved in his community. Charbel spends time supporting newcomers in his community by helping them address immediate needs like housing, furniture and employment. Charbel also spends time supporting elderly people in his community by volunteering with MAUV association and FILIA elderly association. Charbel assists elderly individuals by providing transportation, helping with groceries and offering a listening ear. Charbel also commits hundreds of volunteer hours every year to his parish and supporting parishioners. Charbel and his agency team were awarded one of the inaugural Agency Team Good Hands Grants from The Allstate Foundation of Canada, which they donated to FILIA association, to support isolated seniors.
Gemma has been supporting her community by volunteering with MADD Canada’s Edmonton and Area Chapter since 2018. Gemma joined the organization’s board in 2019 and became the Vice President the following year. The MADD Edmonton and Area board meets monthly to determine how and where to bring awareness to the risk of impaired driving, and to support victims and their families. Additionally, Gemma participates in fundraising events throughout the year to raise funds for MADD’s awareness campaigns and events and engages in programs to bring awareness to the dangers of impaired driving in her community.
Shauna is extremely active in numerous charitable causes throughout the year, such as the Calgary Drop In & Rehab Centre Society and Cystic Fibrosis Society Alberta’s “Wrapping for the Cure”, and acts as a board member for several organizations, including the Canadian Transplant Association (CTA), The Catholic Women’s League of Canada and the TLB Group / YYC Rocks. Shauna participated in CTA’s national initiative “Green Shirt Day” by utilizing social media to deliver important messaging about organ and tissue donation and helped with CTA’s family and friend BBQ to support comradery within the transplant community. Gemma also collected corn orders from friends and family, with sale proceeds going to CTA. In addition, Gemma volunteered with TLB Group / YYC Rocks to host a massive one-day music festival to generate funds for Potential Place Society’s mental health and anti-bullying initiatives.
Cathy is very involved in the Boys & Girls Club of Durham and their Youth Justice Committee (YJC). On a monthly basis, Cathy connects with youth who have been diverted by the Police or Courts to the YJC. Through the committee, Cathy helps participating youth make amends and give back to their community, which avoids further proceedings and a youth criminal record. Cathy has also been deeply involved in the Terry Fox Run in Ajax. Working with a small group of other volunteers, Cathy helps organize the event in Ajax and connects with her community, meeting people who have been directly or indirectly affected by cancer and helps raise money for cancer research.